PHUKET CITY: That unregistered, migrant laborers from Burma continue to play a key role in the island’s construction industry was confirmed on Tuesday when 28 illegal workers were arrested at the one-billion-baht “homeWorks” project site at the Darasamuth Intersection on the bypass road.
The arrests followed a tip-off from the Phuket branch of Thailand’s internal intelligence service (santibaan) to Phuket Provincial Hall. The informant reported that project contractor RTH Construction Co Ltd was using unregistered labor at the site, which covers 27 rai at one of Phuket’s busiest intersections.
Chalong Tadverapong, of the Provincial Provincial Adminsitration Office, told the Gazette that the workers were taken to Phuket City Police Station.
Some of the workers were charged with illegally entering the country and working without a permit, but others were charged only with working illegally as they had work permits, but the permits allowed them to work for another employer only, he said.
RTH Construction Co faces charges of sheltering illegal “aliens” and allowing them to work without government permission, he added.
Those who entered the country illegally will be deported, but the others will only be fined, he said.
The plight of Burmese workers in Phuket made international headlines when 54 suffocated en route to the province in the back of an cold storage truck in Ranong on April 9, he added.
Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit, who concedes there are tens of thousands of undocumented migrants from Burma working in the province, recently ordered police to prepare for an new influx in the wake of the Cyclone Nargis disaster in Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta region.
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